E-mini is a futures contract that represents a portion of the value of the standard futures contracts. The term "E-mini" comes from "electronic mini", as the trading of these contracts is done electronically. E-minis are smaller in size compared to the full-sized futures contracts, making them more accessible to individual traders and investors. The E-mini contracts are traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and are available for a variety of underlying assets, including stock market indexes, currencies, commodities, and bonds. They offer traders and investors a way to gain exposure to these markets with lower margin requirements and reduced trading costs.
E-mini contracts were first introduced in 1997 as a way for smaller investors to participate in futures trading, as they require lower margin requirements and are more accessible than the standard-sized contracts. They have since become very popular among traders and investors due to their flexibility, liquidity, and ease of trading.